'Foul play' suspected after four people found dead in Nebraska town

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Aug 4 (Reuters) - Four people were found dead early on Thursday at two separate residences in the small Nebraska farming town of Laurel when police responded to reports of explosions and fires at the homes, authorities said.

One victim was found when local police and fire departments arrived at the first residence. A short time later, a second fire was reported at a home several blocks away, and three more victims were found there.

State Patrol later said investigators suspected gunfire played a part in both crime scenes.

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The gunshots were suspected to have started at around the same time, the State Patrol said in a statement, adding the second fire was not visible outside the home for hours.

A silver sedan was spotted leaving Laurel - a small farming community located about 40 miles (64 km) west of Sioux City, Iowa - much later after the second fire than previously thought, the State Patrol said.

"Foul play is suspected in these deaths," Colonel John Bolduc of the Nebraska State Patrol said at a news briefing.

"We would describe that individual as a person of interest,"

Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said in a text message, referring to the driver of the silver sedan.

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Reporting By Frank McGurty, Donna Bryson, and Paul Thomasch; Additional reporting by Akriti Sharma; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Lincoln Feast

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